There's been some interesting discussion on a couple of writers loops in which I lurk.
What are the top five things you'd like to see less of in novels? Particularly suspense novels?
Editing is a given. As a writer, it drives me nuts to see gaffes that should've been caught.
But I knew I had other things. So I thought and I thought.
Here are my top five issues. Understanding the five things I'd like to see LESS of automatically helps me see the things I'd like to see MORE of in novels.
1. Plot Development - The absurd discovery/solution that appears out of nowhere. In a mystery, this is akin to getting the proverbial phone call from someone who provides all the evidence necessary to identify the killer. That's a bunch of hooey.
2. Character Development - or lack thereof. Just because I'm writing a suspense novel doesn't mean my characters can be flat.
3. Character Development - The equally absurd act of tagging a character with traits or goals or skills that might work for the absurd plot (see #1) but which have no basis in reality. Er . . . fictional reality. You know what I mean.
4. Scene Design - Repetitious scenes that don't add anything more to either the characters or the plot. The first time, maybe yeah. But the third or fifth? Not so much. The story stalls each time there's a similar scene, no matter how much action it contains. A nice summation is all that's necessary. How many barroom brawls does a protag have to get into before the reader gets it? How many love scenes (I admit, they can be nice) are necessary before the reader also gets that?
5. Tertiary Characters - Because Malcolm is mentioned on page 17 doesn't mean I'm going to remember who he is on page 135. I hate going back and trying to find earlier mention of someone who I thought wasn't important, but golly . . . he must be. (OT - did you know you an do this easily with Kindle?)
CR: Just started Dark Summer by Iris Johansen.
Working On: My next scene. Still working my way through GMC, and have pulled Stephen King's On Writing from my shelves to peruse.
It's all better with friends.